Cigarette smoke is harmful! Strict bans in place

DPI, Guyana, Friday, July 13, 2018

The effects of second and third-hand smoke are more detrimental to the human body than to the actual smoker. Persons, especially children, who are exposed to second-hand smoke, are at an increased risk for asthma and other serious respiratory infections and diseases.

Smoking indoors and in vehicles increases the risk of third-hand smoke since toxic particles from cigarette smoke can settle on surfaces and be embedded in an absorbent material which pollutes the air, making it unsafe for breathing.

The Tobacco Control Act

The Tobacco Control Legislation was passed in mid-2017 and assented to by President David Granger in December of the same year.

Smoking is prohibited in outdoor spaces. The Tobacco Control Act of 2017 extends the smoking ban to a number of outdoor spaces in an effort to protect persons, especially minors, from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.

This means that an individual can be in breach of this legislation if caught smoking in an area that is within five metres of a window, ventilation inlet, or doorway leading to an indoor public place or workplace. Further, smoking is prohibited anywhere on the premises of and within five metres from the outside boundaries of any healthcare, educational or childcare facility.

The Tobacco Control Act prohibits smoking in any waiting area or queue in a public place, including but not limited to, any public transport stop, park, stadium, officially published site of historic or national significance, any space for the commercial service of food or drink or any other outdoor place prescribed by regulations.

This means any place where a non-smoker can come into contact with cigarette smoke is off limits to smokers. By extension, smoking is further prohibited in buildings and enclosed spaces. Despite it being your own home or office space, this is not allowed.

Additionally, smoking is prohibited in vehicles of any kind. This measure aims to eliminate the effects of third-hand smoke.

A person who smokes in any place where smoking is prohibited commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of $10,000 for the first offence, and $20,000 for consecutive infringements.

The Ministry of Public Health will continue to sensitise the public on regulations and sections of the act where clarity is needed.

Be informed about the Act, read more on the document at http://parliament.gov.gy/chamber-business/bill-status/tobacco-control-bill-2017/

By: Delicia Haynes

Images: Off-lined from Disease control websites

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